Searching Our Hearts

“Search me O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)

In my Bible study on Monday night, we read a chapter about guilt and talked a about guilt verses conviction, true repentance, and the freedom of forgiveness.  It was a very lively discussion with a lot of questions, suggestions, and willing hearts.  

One thing we talked about was that beyond confession, a lot of us have sins that we don’t want to give up, sins that we cherish in our hearts, sins that we aren’t aware of, and sins that we aren’t acknowledging, for fear if we speak them out loud to the Lord, or even to ourselves, we will have to change.

At the end of the night, we all committed to praying Psalm 139:23-24 each day this week and ask God to reveal our sins to us.  I was expectant but apprehensive—did I really want God to show me my sins??  Did I really want to surrender them to God??

All week, God has been showing me that if I want a heart wholly devoted to loving Him, I need to have a repentant heart.  If I truly desire to love Him above all else, I need to allow Him to search my heart and remove anything that inhibits me from deeply loving Him.    By cherishing sin in my heart, it inhibits my heart from fully loving the Lord.

Praise the Lord that once we acknowledge and confess our sin, “he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  We shouldn’t feel chained down or inadequate because of our sin—Galations 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”  The need to confess and the beauty of forgiveness is not to make us tied down to a list of laws, or prisoners to our sin, but to set us free!!

This prayer hasn’t been the easiest verse to pray.  It’s hard to expose my heart and my thoughts and have God reveal my offensive ways, but it is so important.  Already God is revealing to me things that are not pleasing to Him and I’m really relying on His grace to let them go.  I still have a very long way to go, but thankfully, God’s daily grace and the forgiveness and freedom that Christ bestows on all of us has strengthened my heart to keep on going.

Lord God, thank you for your incredible forgiveness.  Thank you that when we bring you our repentant hearts you forgive us and set us free!  God, I confess that there are some sins in my heart that I’m not always quick to surrender to you.  God, I confess that I don’t always have a repentant heart.  I know that if I want a heart devoted to loving you, I need to allow you to search and know my heart, but sometimes it is so hard.  Today, I pray that you will “search me and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Lord, I pray that you will strengthen my heart and give me a willingness to surrender the things that don’t honor you.  I desire to love you with my whole heart, and I pray that you will give me grace and strength to confess my sins and walk in the freedom of your incredible forgiveness.  In the name of Jesus, Amen.